When the snow starts to melt…
When you can smell the flowers and leaves growing…
…that’s when you know spring is in the air!
Spring is a beautiful season. It brings warmth, growth and of course, new words.
Speaking about the weather is something English speakers do wherever they are—in every season. So knowing how to speak about spring will give you something to chat about with any native English speaker.
Spring is not just a season—it’s a symbol. So many new things grow in spring—from baby animals to sweet-smelling flowers—that the season represents new life and new beginnings.
Let your knowledge grow this spring, too, with these useful spring vocabulary words.
Spring Means Flowers and New Vocabulary
During winter, you need vocabulary words that speak about the cold, the snow and even some idioms and sayings. In spring, the vocabulary words become more flowery and pleasant.
You can use many of these new words in conversation, even if you’re not speaking about the weather. Some words have more than one meaning, like the words “breeze” and “shower.” You can say something is a breeze when something is very easy, and you can shower someone with gifts when you give them a lot of gifts.
If you learn the different uses of these words, you’ll have words that you can use in conversation any time—not just during spring.
“Spring” and “to Spring”: What’s the Difference?
The word “spring” has two meanings: (1) the noun “spring” is a season, and (2) the verb “to spring” means to jump or leap forward suddenly. There are a number of sayings and idioms that use the verb “spring,” and it can be easy to confuse which “spring” is being used.
Here are a few sayings and phrases that use spring, meaning to leap forward:
- Spring into action — To quickly jump into doing something.
- Spring in your step — When you’re very happy, you might walk with a bit of a happy bounce.
- Spring to life — Have you ever been woken up by cold water on your head? It would make you spring to life, or jump up and be wide awake after being calm and unmoving.
- Spring a leak — When your boat springs a leak, or starts letting water in through a hole or a crack, you’d better know how to swim!
Now that you know which “spring” sayings and words are not related to the season, now let’s learn some words which are.
28 Fresh ESL Vocabulary Words for Spring
1. Spring fever
Are you having trouble sitting still? Do you suddenly feel excited and ready to go on an adventure? You might have spring fever.
A fever is when your body temperature is higher than normal, usually because of illness. Spring fever is not an actual illness. It’s just a saying people use to describe that feeling of restlessness (or inability to sit still) that you get when spring is near.
2. Spring cleaning
When the cold winter is over, it’s time to put away the warm clothes. Many people use this clothes changing as an excuse to clean the entire house.
The term spring cleaning refers to this full-house clean that happens once a year when you clear the closets so you can fill them with warm clothes.
3. Spring break
In America, schools have vacation in the spring, usually in April, around Easter. It’s usually a week long, and many students take the chance to go out and have a fun time.
There are a number of movies about how wild spring break can get, like the recent “Piranha 3D.”
Let’s Talk About the Weather
A breeze is a soft and gentle wind, usually pleasant and not uncomfortable. Breeze can also be used to mean that something is very easy, as in “passing that test was a breeze because I studied hard.”
If you use it as a verb, to breeze means to casually and easily go through something. For example, “After I finished the easy test, I breezed out of that classroom.”
You probably take a shower every morning, but in weather, a shower is a light rain. It takes a lot of rain to make a lot of things grow, so spring can be a very rainy season.
There’s a saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” which means that the gentle rains which often come in April are what makes the flowers bloom the next month.
You can also shower someone with something, usually something positive. You can shower your friends with presents or praise, meaning you give them a lot of presents or positive words. Imagine presents falling from the sky, like rain!
A shower might be a light rain, but a drizzle is even lighter. A drizzle is such a slight rain that you can barely call it rain. You can drizzle something too, like when you pour only a little bit of dressing on your salad.
Once all that rain is done, you’re left with puddles. Puddles are small pools of water gathered on the ground. Kids love jumping in muddy puddles!
When spring brings warmth and sunshine with it, the snow from the winter begins to thaw, or melt. Sometimes people use the word to speak specifically about early springtime, when this snow melting happens.
You can also use the word to talk about anything that gets warmed up after being frozen, like meat that’s been in the freezer. For example, “Did you take the chicken out of the freezer? It needs to thaw so I can cook it for dinner.”
When something was made warm by the sun, you can just say it was sun-kissed—kissed by the sun. It might be a patch of grass, or even someone who has a nice tan. Isn’t that a nice image, to be kissed by the sun?
There’s dry heat, and then there’s humid heat. When the air is very humid, that means there is a lot of water in the air.
Many people say that humid heat is worse than dry heat, since all the moisture makes the air feel thicker.
Sometimes you can see a rainbow after the rain—a colorful arc in the sky. Rainbows happen because of the way sunlight reacts with water particles in the air. They’re considered lucky, and you’re even luckier if you ever get to see a double rainbow!
The Birth of New Things
When buds grow into flowers which open their petals, they are blooming. A flower can bloom (open its petals), and it can be in bloom (when it’s already open). Spring is the time for blooming flowers!
Another word for a flower is blossom. Blossom is used mostly when there is more than one flower, like a group of flowers on a tree that are all blooming at the same time.
Sometimes you can even use blossom to describe something that is developing or growing in a healthy way, like a relationship or a person. For example, “He blossomed from a young boy into a handsome young man.”
A nest is a home that birds make, where they can lay eggs and care for their young. You see a lot of nests in the spring, since that’s when birds usually lay eggs. You might say that “Love is in the air!”
When a baby bird comes out of an egg, that’s called hatching.
Hatch can also be used to describe the creation of a plot or an idea, usually one that is secret. For example, “The bank robbers hatched a new plan that would get them even more money.”
When a young bird loses its fluff and gets feathers it can use for flying, it’s called fledgling.
Fledgling is also a term for anything that is inexperienced or recently created, like a “fledgling organization” or a “fledgling career.”
Just like a fledgling is a young bird, a seedling is a young plant. The suffix (word ending) -ling can sometimes be used to mean something small, although it’s usually used with animals.
For example, a duckling is a baby duck and a gosling is a baby goose. If someone is very weak, you can call them a weakling (but you probably shouldn’t, since that’s not very nice!).
A robin is a type of bird with a black back and a bright red chest. In many parts of North America, a robin is one of the first signs of spring. If you see a robin, you can say that spring is officially here.
A fragrance is a pleasant or sweet smell. Many flowers can create a fragrance, but so can perfume and cologne (perfume for men).
Bouquet is a French word that the English language “borrowed.” A bouquet is a group of flowers, arranged to look nice together, and usually given in celebrations or to people.
It’s nice to bring your date a bouquet of flowers! Many spring flowers, like daisies, daffodils and tulips make great bouquets.
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection (bringing back to life) of Jesus Christ. Easter happens between March 21st and April 25th, and it’s always on a Sunday—but the celebration of Easter lasts eight days.
During Easter, kids find hidden eggs (brought to them by the Easter Bunny), and often decorate them with bright colors.
22. St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the protector saint of Ireland. It’s celebrated on March 17 every year. In America, people dress in green on St. Patrick’s Day, drink, party and just have a lot of fun.
23. May Day
On May 1, many countries celebrate May Day, which is a festival of the spring. “Mayday” is also a danger or emergency word used over radios by people like airplane pilots.
Surprisingly, the two phrases are not related. The emergency signal actually comes from the French m’aider, which means “Help me.” Let’s celebrate May Day without any reason to cry “Mayday!”
Something fresh is clean and new. Spring brings a fresh start for nature, fresh breezes and a fresh smell in the air. You can put on a pair of fresh socks, or feel fresh after taking a shower.
The word rejuvenating is used in soaps and creams more than in everyday conversation. It’s used to describe something that makes you feel younger or fresher, like a facial cream that promises to “rejuvenate your skin.”
Something or someone that’s very bright or full or energy is vibrant. A vibrant red coat is a very bright red, and someone with a vibrant personality is a very enthusiastic or energetic person.
During spring, people say the environment or landscape is vibrant since it’s so full of life.
Anything that’s alive can thrive—develop and grow very well. Things that become very successful are also described as thriving, like a “thriving company” or a “thriving relationship.”
Hope is one of the most powerful feelings you can have. It’s the belief or desire for something to happen. When you’re hopeful, you are full of hope for something.
Out with the cold and in with the warm spring! Now you’re ready for anything that spring brings this season, thanks to these essential words.
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